Tales of the Sausage Factory

“Jesus Was A Community Organizer, Pontious Pilate Was A Governor.”

I wish I could claim credit for what is so far my favorite campaign slogan, but it comes from this Daily Kos post. I’d like to get it on an internet button and have everyone involved in community organization display it.

In the meantime, however, I recommend this excellent piece by Joe Klien on what Barak Obama actually did as a community organizer. Then tell me again how those elitist Democrats can’t possibly understand your pain in the way that the crowd of Republican delegates and lobbyist who think that being a “community organizer” is funny.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Our stupid discourse

Here’s Montel Williams, making sense on the subject of press coverage of Heath Ledger versus coverage of troops killed in Iraq.

According to this post on daily Kos, from which I lifted this idea,

Three minutes into this awkward segment on Fox, one host cut off Montel in order to go to a commercial. Montel did not return after the break. Four days later, after 17 years as a television host, Montel lost his job.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Anybody want to set up a torrent of my books?

According to this story, which I came to by way of slashdot,

Author Paulo ‘Pirate’ Coelho leapt out of obscurity and onto the best-seller list by giving away his books on the Net. The best-selling author of ‘The Alchemist’ will even help you pirate his books via his blog.

Well shit, sez I. I’ve been giving away my books Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices on my blog since early 2003, and Lord knows I have not “leapt out of obscurity”. What gives? I’m willing to admit that it’s possible this guy’s books are better than mine, but frankly, I doubt it. I just think he’s got better marketing than I do: whereas my books are available (PDF) from Wetmachine, his are all over the damn place on bittorrent. So good for him; I congratulate him. Well done! Especially since Coelho did this action on his own, according to the articles, and against the wishes of his publisher.

I should like to emulate him. But while I understand how torrent P2P stuff works abstractly, I confess that when, last week, I finally got around to trying to set up a torrent myself, I got confused and gave it up. Would you, dear reader more familiar with bittorrenting, perchance care to torrent my books for me? If so I should be greatly in your debt.

In the more-than-likely case that you have no idea what my books are like, you might start by checking out Rusty Foster’s reviews. Rusty is the founder of Kuro5hin and the original creator of Scoop software, which drives Daily Kos and a bajillion similar sites. In other words, he’s a geek of unimpeachable geek credentials. He says Acts of the Apostles may well be the ultimate hacker book, and that Cheap Complex Devices is astonishing, on just about every level a book can be astonishing. And of course Google can find you many dozens of other reviews of both books.

My books are under the Creative Commons noncommercial, no derivatives license. Basically, all I care about is that no big corporations rip them off for movie or books without working a deal with me. But I don’t care if any private persons print or translate them. Be my guest.All I ask is that if you do put my books out there in the wild on P2P nets, that you give me proper attribution. I realized that there’s no way to control what others will do with them down the line.

Beyond spreading the wonderfulness or my fictional creations with the world, I hope to make a few dollars from selling the printed books through wetmachine. Wouldn’t it be nice if I “leapt out of obscurity and onto the best-seller list”? It would make a charming story, especially given recent developments in the erstwhile day job.

Come on, guys and gals, let’s make geeky me-too history together. What’s the alternative? That I figure out how to set it up myself? Oh well, I will if I have to, but that would deprive you of a chance to participate in creating the next publishing phenomenon.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Whiny Techies or Dishonest Salesmen?

I cannot help but add a coda onto my latest article. Steven Pearlstein, econ columnist for the Washington Post, has written this piece on the recent complaints wrt to Comcast. To quote Mr. Pearlstein:

The latest rallying cry is “network neutrality.” This campaign started out with the legitimate goal of making sure that consumers could continue to access whichever services or content they want, rather than having to take those offered by the cable and phone company duopolists. But lately the campaign seems to have morphed into a broader demand that all consumers should be able to pay the same monthly fee for using the Internet, no matter how much bandwidth they use or how much their movie downloads and video chats are slowing service to everyone else in the neighborhood.

Perhaps this is the kind of economic illiteracy we should expect from people who get their information from “The Daily Show” and the Daily Kos. But isn’t it time for the rest of us to move on and acknowledge that the days of the online free lunch are over?

As you may imagine from my recent post, my complaint is not with charging more for more bandwidth, but for dishonestly promising me an “always on all you can eat” connection, then cutting me off when I use it all the time for all I can eat. I sent Mr. Pearlstein the following reply, reproduced below….

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Posted in Series of Tubes, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Such a Deal!

Hey Friends! How’d you like to support a struggling genius AND get a great deal on an excellent book (or two)? Today and tomorrow I’m offering my astounding novels at astounding discounts. If you dig Wetmachine, now would be a good time to show it, for once again the wolves are at the door. And if you just dig a good price on a good book, that works too.

The books in question are my Acts of the Apostles, a well regarded nanotech thriller, ostensibly about Gulf War Syndrome, which I wrote between 1995 and 1999 and published in 1999. Normally this goes for $15, but how does $5 sound, including shipping in North America? I’m offering the same deal on my Cheap Complex Devices and pre-orders of The Pains.

And of course, donations in support of the site (or any individual blogger: Me, Harold, Gary or Howard) are also always welcome.

Below the fold, more about these wonderful books, along with simple instructions for cashing in on these great, nay, scandalously great, deals.

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My Thoughts Exactly

No on Gonzales

Wetmachine is a technocentric place. We talk about, mostly, science and technology and their relation to society. My own particular hobbyhorse is unforseen side effects of technology, especially negative side effects. I guess you would say I’m a dystopian, happiest whenever some new technopolistic horror happens and I can say “See! See! I told you we never should have angered the gods by making fire!”

I don’t generally post political rants here. (I have a diary at daily Kos for that.)

But I’m going to add my puny voice to the chorus opposing Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General, because there are limits, after all, to my perverse delight in seeing technophilia run amok. Gonzales truly is an Orwellian character, a minion of Older Sibling and a cog in the machine that is hell-bent on turning my beloved United States of America into a high-tech Ociania–replete with a prole-filled gulag and a worldwide secret army of faceless enforcers brought up on videogames and armed to the teeth with gizmos, gadgets and all the latest in mind-fuck technology.

A vote for Gonzales is a vote not only for torture and the debasement of a proud American tradition that began, literally, with George Washington. A vote for Gonzales is a vote for the gulag, an the corruption of our republic that inveitably goes with it.

No on Gonzales.

Posted in General, My Thoughts Exactly | Tagged | 3 Comments (Comments closed)
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